Cam Newton Talks About Handling Criticism, Fashion and Being A Leader

Rucuss staffOctober 26, 2011

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has proven to be a viable asset on the field.

So far, the rookie has thrown for eight touchdowns and racked up 2,103 passing yards. Newton, who stands at 6-foot-5, weighing 248 pounds, has embraced his leadership role both on and off the field. The 22-year old spoke with Interview Magazine about handling criticism, being a leader and fashion.

Here’s a few excerpts from his interview:

How does he handle criticism, being a leader and in the spotlight? 

That’s just something that comes natural in a person. The hard part is that you’re always in the spotlight. Often times I see myself on TV, and it’s like, “Man, what have I become?” I used to hope I was gonna be on TV, hoping people would see me playing football. Now, I’m being critiqued at the highest level—you know, “Cam didn’t do that right. He didn’t do this right.” Which is fine, but there’s no off switch. If I go downstairs right now and cuss out somebody, it’s going to be on ESPN tomorrow, you can believe that. That’s the difference.

In this field, people know how much you’re worth—meaning X amount of dollars, or that you’re on TV this much. You have to respect that you are not regular anymore. And when I say “regular,” I don’t mean that I’m better than you are, I mean that everybody’s watching. In this day and age, everybody wants to be that star. Of course, people are going to say, “He’s immature. He doesn’t deserve this.” But when people see you do alright, then you start winning their hearts. It’s not going to come easy, though. It doesn’t matter how many people you do right, you’re still going to be hated by so many others. You can’t live your life trying to make everybody happy.

I’d be lying to you if I said I don’t look at the TV or listen to what people say. I’d be a fool if I didn’t. I don’t break my neck going on Yahoo Sports or Twitter, but, you know, you’re on TV, you’re in the newspapers. So many people are talking about you, and you don’t understand what effect you’re having on them. You have a lot of fans who you don’t know, who you’ll never know, and you’ve got a lot of people wishing for your failure. You have to be mindful of the decisions you make, from the people that you go out with to the pictures that you take with fans. It’s a platform that could easily be taken away.

 What inspires him in fashion?

The most successful people I admire don’t carry their jobs with them off the field. I don’t want to dress like a football player. I don’t want a person to look at me and say, “Oh, that’s tacky. You dress like a football player—you don’t care.” I want to dress, you know, relatively nice and clean, you know? Not baggy, not loose. I want everything to be flush and neat.

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